We all try to forget about our time of the month. But have you stopped and thought about the associated waste from products and packaging used for each menstrual period?
Several product changes a day, for up to 7 days, twelve times a year, for decades…per
person! It’s estimated the average woman will use up to 12,000 disposable tampons, pads,or panty liners in her lifetime! Additionally, widely available feminine products are typically made from bleached or processed papers, or worse, mixed with synthetic materials containing toxins that are sitting in vulnerable, sensitive regions throughout the day, and may cause irritation. With tampons, there is the added insult of plastic applicators. It’s a matter of personal preference: Some women prefer the clean feeling of tampons. Or, some do not like the feeling of a foreign object sitting inside them (hold the snickers) and prefer pads because they think the idea of wearing them is more natural. But pad wearers may feel messy and the adhesives or “wings” that anchor pads in place within undergarments don’t particularly work well.
Enter these new natural alternatives to the above that are also eco-friendly AND from cruelty-free brands. Before you pre-judge, see below:
Instead of tampons, try:
The Diva Cup®: This cup is made of medical-grade silicone (no off gassing or absorption risk) that feels custom fit. It is a great option for regular flow days and can even be used overnight. Be careful, once inserted correctly (see instructions here) it’s reportedly socomfortable you may forget about it. On heavy days, you may want peace of mind to use a panty liner though the cup is designed to be worn all day. Simply empty the contents in the toilet and rinse the cup when you are done. Absent are the odors associated with paper products since the cup separates the fluids from the body. Further, since the cup collects versus absorbs the flow like a tampon, it doesn't dry or irritate sensitive tissue. There is even a pre- and post- childbirth model.
Cost: $~29.00 (the Company recommends replacing it once a year).
Instead of conventional, chain drugstore bought disposable pads, try:
GladRags: With a line of cloth pads and liners made of organic cotton flannel/terry, these are a great option for panty liner to heavy flow days, and a longer version is available for overnight wear. They include flaps that securely snap around your underwear to act as “wings”. There are also inserts which allow you to regulate the amount of coverage needed. It is recommended to check the inserts, like you would check and change your pad normally, to monitor saturation and add more inserts if necessary. Odor associated with paper products is also absent with this option since the material is made from natural fibers. Users report comfort due to the fact the pad's material and inserts are absorbent enough to hold the flow away from the body. To clean, soak the pads in cold water before tossing them in a cold water wash (can be washed with usual load of laundry).
Cost: $50 supply for 5 years (minimum) (the cost of 2 years-worth of disposable products)
Note: GladRags also makes a cup option like The Diva Cup, above, called the “The Keeper MoonCup”.
Both options may take getting used to if you are squeamish about dealing with your own bodily fluids. But now think about all of those used products with the same bodily fluids (of others) in a landfill just sitting there. (Now are you more squeamish?) These re-usable products will be kind to the earth and provide cost-savings as well. And, it’s also one less thing to worry about; no rushing to the store last minute to replenish inventory since your menstrual products are already in-house, ready and available. For panty liners, there’s also less waste when you think about those “just in case” days when you wear a liner to be sure.
By the way, our foremothers used re-usables…read about it here! So play it old school, save the planet and treat your body kindly with one or both of the above options.
Find both recommended Products on the CHOICE app – Download it now here!
This editorial is brought to you by our friends at My Conscience, My Choice. The site is the first of its kind to feature weekly brand-to- brand comparisons of eco-friendly, cruelty-free and all-natural product alternatives to commonly purchased products. The related CHOICE app is available for iOS download (search “My Conscience, My Choice”) and allows you to scan, search or browse and get recommendations to purchase that are better alternatives to commonly purchased products. Get to know pioneering brands producing conscience-driven products that you should buy instead of the brands that you may be more familiar with.0